Mythological Mondays: DARK OF THE MOON and TOUCH OF FROST

Mythological Mondays is a feature I created to spotlight books brimming with--you guessed it--mythology! I adore this sub-genre and can't wait to share my love with all of my fellow bookworms! This feature isn't just focused on novel reviews; it may also include interviews, looks at original mythological tales, etc. Please feel free to do this with me! If you guys ever do a mythological feature and want to join this and snag my lovely mermaid, I would LOVE to see the feature. I’ve even included a Linkbox for you. It doesn’t have to be Greek mythology, or even mythology per say. It can be mermaids, unicorns, or heck, even fairy tales (because I’m too lazy to do a separate fairy tale feature…). It doesn’t even have to be every Monday. I’m sure there will be Mondays when I skip, too. ^_^

*Two flash reviews for you today!  I read both of these books last year and kept postponing the reviews, so now I don't think I could do justice to a full review for either book.  That doesn't mean they were bad, though, not by any means!! It just means that I have a horrible memory and should review things right away, lol!!

Author: Tracy Barrett
Release Date: Out now (Sept. 20, 2011)
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Received: Borrowed


Ariadne is destined to become a goddess of the moon. She leads a lonely life, filled with hours of rigorous training by stern priestesses. Her former friends no longer dare to look at her, much less speak to her. All that she has left are her mother and her beloved, misshapen brother Asterion, who must be held captive below the palace for his own safety.

So when a ship arrives one spring day, bearing a tribute of slaves from Athens, Ariadne sneaks out to meet it. These newcomers don’t know the ways of Krete; perhaps they won’t be afraid of a girl who will someday be a powerful goddess. And indeed she meets Theseus, the son of the king of Athens. Ariadne finds herself drawn to the newcomer, and soon they form a friendship—one that could perhaps become something more.

Yet Theseus is doomed to die as an offering to the Minotaur, that monster beneath the palace—unless he can kill the beast first. And that "monster" is Ariadne’s brother . . .

Greek myths are full of tragedy and sorrow, though readers not familiar with the tales might not know this when reading today's modernized mythological novels.  So many books today romanticize the Gods and their stories, even the ones we love.  One think I really enjoyed about DARK OF THE MOON was the fact that Tracy Barrett didn't tone down her punches.  The story of the Minotaur is tragic, so don't go into this one expecting an "And they lived happily ever after" stamp.  No one in this story truly lives happily ever after, and that's really not a spoiler at all if you know your mythology.  The tale is told from the POV of Ariadne.  I enjoyed seeing the special role she had in society despite the fact that it ostracized her from her people.  She only truly loves her family until the day Theseus arrives as a sacrifice.  She loves her deformed brother despite the fact that he's a hideous monster, but she also finds herself drawing closer to Theseus and must choose between them and her duty to her people and the gods.  With each new path of the story, Ariadne is betrayed anew as she's forced to suffer impossible consequences from the actions of those around her.  Barrett fleshes out a world both sensual and violent, one that brings a little-retold tale to life in a gritty new way.
Author: Jennifer Estep
Release Date: Out now (Aug. 01, 2011)
Publisher: Kensington
Received: nook book

My name is Gwen Frost, and I go to Mythos Academy — a school of myths, magic and warrior whiz kids, where even the lowliest geek knows how to chop off somebody's head with a sword and Logan Quinn, the hottest Spartan guy in school, also happens to be the deadliest.

But lately, things have been weird, even for Mythos. First, mean girl Jasmine Ashton was murdered in the Library of Antiquities. Then, someone stole the Bowl of Tears, a magical artifact that can be used to bring about the second Chaos War. You know, death, destruction and lots of other bad, bad things. Freaky stuff like this goes on all the time at Mythos, but I'm determined to find out who killed Jasmine and why—especially since I should have been the one who died. . .
*Previously reviewed the prequel novel FIRST FROST here!

The Mythos Academy series touches on mythology while still remaining original fantasy.  The series centers around Gwen Frost (Yes, that's why every book has FROST in the title!), a gypsy who can touch an object and know everything about its owner.  Mythos Academy is a school for kids with gifts like hers, though most of Gwen's fellow students are Spartans, Valkyries, Romans, etc.  Being a mere gypsy, Gwen feels out of place among her classmates, most of whom ignore her.  When a hot, bad-boy Spartan starts paying attention to her after a tragic accident occurs, she's wary and suspicious.  Does he actually like her, or is something more sinister at play?  TOUCH OF FROST reminds me a bit of Rachel Hawkins' HEX HALL because both books take place at a boarding school for "special" students and involve solving a murder mystery.  TOUCH OF FROST will keep you guessing as new twists and turns abound.  The introduction of Loki and his need to bring Chaos into the world foreshadows an action-packed series that you'll be clamoring for each new installment of and leaves loose ends that can open up Estep's world in ways we aren't expecting.  I'm looking forward to reading KISS OF FROST and DARK FROST soon!

Other books mentioned: HEX HALL by Rachel Hawkins, reviewed here. (I also reviewed the second book, DEMONGLASS, last year, and am looking forward to the release of the final book in the trilogy, SPELL BOUND, next week! Plus, I get to meet Rachel Hawkins at a local signing. SCORE!)

Did you do a Mythological Mondays post?


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